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  1. #1
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    Default The Nomadic Life

    Casa TT et al. have recently taken to glamping. We use a Travel Trailer to find places to go eff' off for a few days or few weeks. We are frequently impressed meeting others who similarly are traveling with one difference, this is their entire life. These folks are working remotely or not at all, they simply travel. Taking off for a few days or weeks is hardly a change in lifestyle, taking your game on the road is a different matter. Somewhere in the middle lies the need/want many of us aspire.

    I'm going to kick this off with a (verbatim) cut and past of a portion out of a recent article by Amelia Borg and Timothy Moore -
    (Quoted Text)
    ....Currently in the idealized capitalist economy, the working subject is retained until a time when they can be free to enjoy leisure and explore the unknown where their bodily output is no longer linked to labor or financial production. Nomadism is a rewarded after a lifetime of permanent work, a rebuff of the societal and economic systems that during the twentieth century largely tied a working subject to a single static piece geographically.

    ....The extension of a life leisure may soon impossible as people become so indebted that they are no longer able to retire. While gray nomads are primarily privileged baby boomers, their way of life reveals much about physical and digital infrastructures that support and facilitate nomadic living. This subcultural for of living may instead be a precursor of a life for future generations--not one of nomadic leisure but one of nomadism--following cheaper land, going off grid or working remotely.
    Last edited by Too Tall; 10-04-2018 at 07:34 AM.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I don't feel privileged, I'm a 53 year old Engineering Manager that intends to work to 60. My recent divorce took a hit on my retirement savings but as a retired naval officer, I'll be okay. What I do have is my TSP account which I have intended for years, is to by a travel trailer. A nice 25' Airstream and I've got around $150K so I can get another vehicle if needed. My current vehicle is a Ford Expedition which would tow it with no problems. I want an Airstream, nothing with pull outs. I've shifted my life to paperless, the only thing that gets delivered to my house these days are packages from Amazon. My goal over the next 7 years is to get my life down to minimal stuff and bikes. Even get down to minimum numbers of bikes, a road bike, gravel, and MTB.

    I think the challenge is a "home base" even if that's a storage unit. I live in a neighborhood of snowbirds. About half the houses have a three car garage and the 3rd door is a 12'+ high and extended for parking an RV or trailer. I don't think I have that amount of income but I could see having a 1500 square foot home with RV parking. Months on the road, months at home, I could be a snowbird.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I think it only works for that period of your life when you are retired and 'healthy'. Eventually, old age catches up to us all and a 'home base' is really needed. Unfortunately, I know on this forum, I am not alone in dealing with aging parents.

    I will eventually be an aged parent, and being far away from any extended family as a snowbird seems an incredibly lonely life to me.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Has anyone done the math on buying, maintaining, storing and towing an RV, versus just VRBOing a vacation home wherever you want to go?

    Just squinting at the numbers, it seems like you'd have to spend a whole lot of nights in the RV, or just really value having your own space, for it to make sense.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    My retirement plan is to move to a less expensive area of NYS and yes, get an Airstream and travel, especially during the colder months.

    Small house with storage as a home base is a must, but I don't need much space.

    Sometime in the next 3-7 years.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
    My retirement plan is to move to a less expensive area of NYS and yes, get an Airstream and travel, especially during the colder months.

    Small house with storage as a home base is a must, but I don't need much space.

    Sometime in the next 3-7 years.

    SPP
    Currently arrived one year into retirement and looking into Airstream Caravel 22'

    SPP
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Has anyone done the math on buying, maintaining, storing and towing an RV, versus just VRBOing a vacation home wherever you want to go?

    Just squinting at the numbers, it seems like you'd have to spend a whole lot of nights in the RV, or just really value having your own space, for it to make sense.
    I'm pondering something a whole lot smaller and cheaper than an RV and it still is hard math...
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Interesting timing. I just started a 100% remote job. A few years back I bought a second home in Moab. I have been going back and forth between the two for the past few years. But now I’ll probably do a month at each. The place is smaller than my main house and it lets you know how small you can get away with.

    But for me the math of an RV as a depreciating asset didn’t work out vs a modest vacation home. Although I see the allure of the open road.

    Happy trails to all no matter what path you take.

    Joe

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Just as a datapoint, since you asked: I've got no interest in the nomadic lifestyle. I've got a home I love in a city I love and that's that.

    Yeah, I want to travel (still yearning for the cross-country driving trip[s]...) but want to do it in a vehicle that's fun and responsive rather than lumbering and ponderous. I'll pilot a sports sedan/wagon and stay in a hotel, thanks. Or an AirBNB.

    Which gets me to my second point: No vacation home for me, either. I'd rather stay in a hundred different places in dozens of different locales, rather than own and maintain a second domicile, no matter how nice the spot. One home is enough for me. And as caleb asks, I think the numbers favor my plan:

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Has anyone done the math on buying, maintaining, storing and towing an RV, versus just VRBOing a vacation home wherever you want to go?

    Just squinting at the numbers, it seems like you'd have to spend a whole lot of nights in the RV, or just really value having your own space, for it to make sense.
    GO!

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I travel too much as it is integral to my work. Thus hotels are of little interest to me. Still trying to find a place I love for retirement, even though thatís a ways off. Minneapolis is the obvious place, if I stay in the US, which isnít a certainty. But itís great only for about 8 months of the year. The other 4 months are OK if one is a winter person. But the idea of hooking up the Airstream to a truck in November and rolling home about April 1 is appealing at some level.

    Love, love love my trips to California of late and with two crew bases there itís more interesting every day. But thatís another topic for another thread.
    Last edited by Saab2000; 10-12-2018 at 10:50 AM.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by vertical_doug View Post
    I think it only works for that period of your life when you are retired and 'healthy'...
    This is a very good point. We hope to travel extensively in retirement. I don't think we could ever commit to full time camping, but several month long stretches are in the plan. One of the key points of advice I have seen for people considering the full time nomadic lifestyle is to have an exit plan. Selling the house, and hitting the road on the front end of retirement can be a wonderful plan. At some point the travel may need to end due to health / old age issues. Acknowledging this ahead of time can help you plan for that day when your dream retirement investment (Airstream, motorhome...) is only worth a fraction of what you paid for it.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    We will never go full time. That seems like a drag. However, keeping the house and spending inordinate amounts of time at great locales during good weather months is for me.

    We are not big crowd people rather we seek quiet places with abundant bicycle, hiking and recreation. You just have to get off the internet and start meeting people and going places...it will happen.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Saw this at Croton Point Park last week.

    This guy don't fuck around.

    October 2018 by SlowPoke Pete, on Flickr

    October 2018 by SlowPoke Pete, on Flickr

    SPP
    My name is Peter Miller.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    I don't feel privileged, I'm a 53 year old Engineering Manager that intends to work to 60.
    I'm not going to get into a discussion of this but I feel compelled to point out that if you're white, male and educated in this country you're privileged. That doesn't mean that you didn't run your laps and make some decent decisions but you absolutely are privileged. And compared to much of the rest of the world we're privileged in many more ways.

    As relates to the larger subject: When I stealth camp alone, generally to go surfing, I get a glimpse (a very lite one, from which I can easily extract myself) of what being homeless must be like. Untethered, with nowhere I "belong", looking for some place to be. With my spouse I'd feel much differently, but solo I feel unmoored.
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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I am all of that and then some, and only too aware of the privilege. Talk about the 1% obscures this a bit.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    All issues/complaints on this board are "First World Problems" we are all 1%ers maybe not in the US or EU but certainly compared to the world.

    On the RV side - I hate driving and the thought of pulling a trailer/driving a motor coach is only slightly more appealing than a nursing home. I am doing the math on the small base home and Air BnB options for long retirement vacations. We have friends that have successfully rented their condo (Boston/desirable) and used Air BnB to travel the US/EU for the past 18 months with only short stays with Family, friends or the occasional hotel.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    I read a book last year entitled Nomadland, that chronicles the lives of many who fell through the cracks that developed after 2007/8. I can recommend it without reservation. I've met a number of people who have taken this route as a way to drop out of the rat race because of life changes or just plain lifestyle choice. I can recommend this distaff view of living out of a car or trailer.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    What I like about that Benz is itís the same exterior dimensions as our Sienna and if they add the third row seat as mentioned in the article it could conceivably replace a minivan. Keep the price at 80k or below and itís doable as a family daily driver and weekend getaway mobile (if you squint.)

    Good to know about the MB drawbacks though.

    Hoping to have the wherewithal to be able to consider something like this in a few years so I will be watching the reviews closely.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    LOL, I don't know about spending any $80K on a van. I have a $5K Ford Econoline that does just about anything.

    Speaking of, I have been developing an idle daydream. Maybe some Airstream nerds on here can steer me along: our orbit stops and starts with school schedules, meaning beaucoups time in the summer. I have thought about acquiring an Airstream to use as a backyard airbnb during the school year, and then hitting the road with the missus and our brood in the summers. Our little kids are at the age where they're portable or don't know/care where they are but need early memories of outdoor life.

    a) A good parking spot in the garden-y part of my yard, plus a nice deck built beside it sound like it could make an enticing Airbnb. I live in a hot spot near Duke U, and Duke Hospital, and sources tell me RDU is one of the top places in the country for my fellow millennials right now - I have a friend who is booked for months out on his tiny house Airbnb. I think it would do OK. What say ye to this kind of endeavor with an Airstream?

    b) I am seeing what look like nice (to me) Airstreams ca. 10-15 years old in the $15K range, looks like an Airstream International 23FB is a solid option. Any quick words of wisdom about this class of Airstream and managing them? I am not committed enough to go over and join the AS forums yet. :)

    c) My Ford is tragically an E-150 with the 4.6L V8; knowing what I know now, I woulda sprung for a 350 with the 5.4. But yeah.
    GVWR on the 23FB for instance is 6,000lb; Ford says 6,500lb towing capacity on the 4.6 E150. How long before it blows up? I do hear people like towing with vans based on the combo of wheelbase and forward steering position.

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    Default Re: The Nomadic Life

    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    What I like about that Benz is itís the same exterior dimensions as our Sienna and if they add the third row seat as mentioned in the article it could conceivably replace a minivan. Keep the price at 80k or below and itís doable as a family daily driver and weekend getaway mobile (if you squint.)

    Good to know about the MB drawbacks though.

    Hoping to have the wherewithal to be able to consider something like this in a few years so I will be watching the reviews closely.
    Welp. My daydreaming didnít last thru the weekend! The Metris is RWD only which would be a complete nonstarter for a daily driver.

    Sienna plus a six man car camping tent and some chairs will have to suffice. 🏕

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